I’m not sure I believe in karma and all that mumbo jumbo.
I love that expression “mumbo jumbo”, you so rarely get to use it in a sentence. In fact, I’m fairly confident I’ve never typed it before.
But I digress.
Every week I say to myself “Listen, you can’t leave the office at 7pm on a Friday and expect to be able to ride across Manchester city centre without running into revellers, crazy people, buses, taxis and other assorted hazards!”.
Every week, I ignore my own sound advice and find myself dodging people stepping out into traffic, drivers making ill considered (and often illegal) dangerous manoeuvres and women of a certain age who really shouldn’t be wearing *that*.
Tonight, as the pack of mini-skirted 40-somethings almost got wiped out by a tram, I decided to hang back and let the taxi (that was going to pull out whether I pulled back or not) pull out ahead of me. To which I received a big smile and a friendly wave.
A little way down the road and I pulled alongside another black cab sat waiting at a red light and waved to point out he was driving around in full dark with no headlights on… to which I received a big smile and a friendly wave.
The remaining trek across the city centre presented the usual selection of horrible sights, a few close shaves and one incredibly impatient driver blowing their horn at me when I didn’t move out of their way immediately.
Meh. I suppose it’ll take a little time for my good karma to kick in.
But I digress.
You see, tonight’s ride home from work was the first in a series. Over the next 12 days I am taking part in the 2014 Chasing Mailboxes Errandonee Challenge.
The rules are pretty simple, I just have to complete 12 errands by bike in 12 days, covering a minimum of 30 miles. Oh, and I also have to document each errand with a photo and point out something I learned or observed on my trip.
Something I observed on my trip? Well, other than the bewildering selection of outfits on display in the city centre, I was quite struck with just how big the difference is between the madness of the city centre and the serenity of the suburbs – I can’t wait to get out of the former, but I find myself taking longer and longer routes through the latter.
Errand #1 fits into the ‘work’ category as it was my daily commute to / from work and also takes care of one of my recommended ‘after dark’ errands.
See, look, it was dark. Dark like a dark thing. The lighting method used a simple Shimano hub dynamo wired up to a Trelock front dynamo light and a… something-or-other mudguard mounted dynamo rear light, both with built-in standlights. How I ever lived without dynamo lights, I’ll never know.
Total mileage for errand #1: 16 miles.